Document Detail

Discrimination of vibrotactile stimuli in the rat whisker system: behavior and neurometrics.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20188657     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Understanding the neural code underlying perception requires the mapping of physical stimulus parameters to both psychophysical decisions and neuronal responses. Here, we employed a novel psychophysical task in head-fixed rats to measure discriminability of vibrotactile whisker deflections. Rats could discriminate 90 Hz from 60 Hz pulsatile stimuli if stimulus intensity covaried with frequency. To pin down the physical parameters used by the rats to discriminate these vibrations, we manipulated stimulus amplitude to arrive at pairs of nondiscriminable stimuli. We found that vibrations matched in intensity (measured as mean absolute velocity), but differing in frequency, were no longer discriminable. Recordings of trigeminal ganglion neurons revealed that the distribution of neurometric sensitivities based on spike counts, but not interspike intervals, matched the rats' inability to discriminate intensity-matched stimuli. In conclusion, we suggest that stimulus mean absolute velocity, encoded in primary afferent spike counts, plays a prominent role for whisker-mediated perception.
Todor V Gerdjikov; Caroline G Bergner; Maik C St?ttgen; Christian Waiblinger; Cornelius Schwarz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuron     Volume:  65     ISSN:  1097-4199     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuron     Publication Date:  2010 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-01     Completed Date:  2010-03-25     Revised Date:  2010-06-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8809320     Medline TA:  Neuron     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  530-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of T?bingen, 72076 T?bingen Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Afferent Pathways / physiology
Conditioning, Operant / physiology
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology*
Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
Neurons / physiology*
Physical Stimulation
Psychomotor Performance / physiology
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
Touch / physiology
Trigeminal Ganglion / physiology*
Vibrissae / physiology*
Erratum In:
Neuron. 2010 Jun 10;66(5):808

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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